So you discovered some fantastic wines during your trip to Burgundy... but can you take them home? Yes! You can take wines in your luggage and you can ship wine from France to the US, Australia and other international locations. In fact, if you are shipping outside of the EU, the VAT reduction can cover the cost of shipping. Ready to ship some wine from France?
If you want to take a small amount of wine back from France to your international home, you can put some in your checked luggage, but of course you cannot carry it on the plane. The duty requirements vary by country.
In the US, you can transport as much wine as you like in your luggage as long as it is for personal use, you are over 21, its alcohol content is below 24% per bottle, and the amount doesn't exceed the laws of your state. (If you bring a lot of wine in your luggage, not only will it be very heavy, but you may be flagged as carrying it for commercial purposes.) In the US, each adult over 21 can bring in 1 liter of alcoholic beverages duty free, but you are required to pay duty on any additional bottles. The duty is about $1-2 per bottle. For more, explore the Customs and Border Patrol Site.
In Australia, each adult (over 18) can bring up to 2.25 liters of wine or other alcoholic beverage into Australia duty free. See Australia duty free info.
If you are going to bring wine home in your luggage, you'll want to wrap it well. Bringing some wine transport bags* can be helpful. For a cheaper approach, you can buy bubble wrap at the large super markets, such as Carrefour. *affiliate link
Shipping wine from Burgundy France to your international home can be very simple. Some wineries and wine shops will box up your wine and handle all the shipping and duty requirements, but shipping from each winery individually will cost more than consolidating your order. Here's an overview of how we regularly ship wine from Burgundy, France to the United States and maximize efficiency.
Cote D'Or Imports is a wine importer than can consolidate all the wine you buy from large and small domaines to reduce your shipping charges. Many of the wine tasting rooms around Meursault and the Route des Grands Crus already have arrangements with Cote D'Or Imports. When you taste, ask if they will ship with them. If so, they'll write up your order on a form, you pay for the wine, then Cote D'Or Imports will pick up your wine at the winery and consolidate all the purchases you make throughout the trip.
If you purchase wine someplace that doesn't offer Cote D'Or Imports consolidation, not to worry. Cote D'Or Imports has a warehouse in Nuits St George and they'll happily accept your wine there and group it with the rest of your order.
The cost to ship wine depends on how much wine you buy and whether you ship via air or boat. The cost ranges from about $10-16 per bottle. The more you buy, the lower the per bottle shipping cost. Shipping via boat costs less than shipping via air, but it arrives more slowly.
The cost also includes pick up, packaging, transport, and storage while you wait for weather cool enough to safely transport the wine. You must add 4.5% in insurance and as of October 2019, the US also requires you to pay a 25% tariff on wine from France. Some US States charge additional fees as well.
The good news is, if you are transporting the wine out of the EU, you do not have to pay the 20% VAT tax that you would pay if you bought wine at the winery and carried it out the door.
For example, a $40 bottle of wine purchased in France would cost : $40 - 20% VAT + $13 avg. shipping + 4.5% insurance + 25% tariff = $56.80. In the end, we found that the cost to purchase and ship wine, even with all the fees, was less than what it costs to buy an equivalent bottle in a wine shop in the US. Find more information on the Cote D'Or Imports site or by asking at the winery.
The wine importer offers a slower (boat) and faster (air) wine delivery option, and they take the weather into account (you don't want your wine to spoil during hot weather transport.) Air transport is 3-7 weeks and boat is 7-10 weeks, weather dependent.